China Makes “Green Card” Available

People from overseas who wish to live and do business in China can now apply for a "green card" for permanent residency, so that they will not have to go through complicated visa application processes when they enter or leave China.

One of the series of reforms on exit and entry procedures recently announced by the Ministry of Public Security is the new initiative aimed at attracting more professional people from abroad to fill the urgent need for people with special expertise, especially after China becomes a formal member of the World Trade Organization on December 11, Zhang Yindi, deputy director of the Bureau of Exit Entry Administration under the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), told China Daily during an exclusive interview yesterday.

She stressed that the exit and entry authorities will abide by strict basic principles when granting permanent residency to foreigners. We will follow "just, fair and open" principles when granting permanent residency to senior foreign managers and technicians as well as big investors in the country, she said.

It is a common practice to give outstanding foreigners permanent residence rights in many developed countries, she said.

Since February 1986 when the law governing exit and entry procedures for foreigners was adopted, the nation has granted permanent residency to more than 90 foreigners who had invested in China or worked many years in Chinese enterprises or organizations, she estimated.

Meanwhile, due to the lack of a systematic and transparent system, many local governments have adopted different standards for granting permanent residency to foreigners over the past years, Zhang said.

Nowadays, in most cases, the foreign residents in China want to apply for from one to five years' permanent resident status instead of applying for Chinese nationality, she said.

China will thus learn some lessons from the advanced countries when doing appraisals on foreign professionals, high-tech technicians in particular; at the same time, all-around examinations will be conducted on the duration of stay, moral character and permanent address of the applicants, the official said.

To fit in with the new measures, China will amend its laws on nationality and exit and entry procedures during the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-05), she disclosed.

The exit and entry authorities will strike hard at the illegal activities of those leaving or entering the country, she added.

(China Daily December 5, 2001)

In This Series

New Policy Slated to Attract Overseas Professionals

Government Urged to Reform Residency Laws



Web Link